Lebanon is set to hold its first parliamentary vote in nearly a decade on May 6, after a drawn-out political stalemate finally produced a new electoral law in 2017.
The new system maintains the sectarian seat allocation in the 128-member parliament, but swaps out the decades-old plurality system for a proportional list-based one.
Below are the most prominent elements of the law.
- Districts -
The new law reduces the number of voting districts from 26 to 15.
The smallest district in the south is represented by five parliament seats, and the largest, the hilly region of Chouf-Aley, has been allocated 13 seats.
In each district, the seats are distributed among the various religious sects present in that area.
For example, the seven seats allotted for the eastern district of Zahleh in the Bekaa valley include two seats for Catholics and one seat each for a Maronite Christian, Shiite Muslim, Sunni Muslim, Orthodox Christian, and Armenian Orthodox Christian.
- Lists -
All voters, regardless of sect, can vote for all seats in their district. In the past, they could individually choose which candidate they want to elect for each seat, mixing and matching from various parties as they wished.
Under the new law, they must choose from among wholesale lists presented on pre-printed ballots.